The Los Angeles Rams redeemed themselves quickly after dropping a game to the Arizona Cardinals with a win against their archrival Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football. While the team was redeemed with a victory, some players had better days than others and one particular coordinator had his worst day of the season. Here’s a look at some of the winners and losers of Week Five.
Los Angeles Rams Winners And Losers: Week Five
At the end of Week Four, Robert Woods’ performance was the first heartbeat in what he hoped was a return to form after a miserable start to the season. The hope was that by scoring a touchdown against the Cardinals, Sean McVay would remember Woods is still on the team and would therefore give him a larger role in the next game. What resulted against the Seahawks likely blew away Woods’ expectations. Woods led the team in receiving with 12 receptions for 150 yards. Even though Cooper Kupp had a good day, Woods stole the show in primetime. A big game in primetime can be better than a month of good games in the eyes of the NFL. Before the monster performance, Woods was on track for a supremely disappointing season. However, after the game, Woods now has a shot to reach 1000 yards this season.
In a day when the defense was far from dominant, its best player had a record-breaking day. According to Rams Wire, Aaron Donald broke the Rams’ record for career sacks after earning a sack in the game. With the sack, Donald’s name will stick around the facility long after he has retired. Aaron Donald has 88.5 sacks in 115 games of action. At 30 years old, Donald still has plenty of time to continue to build on the record. Depending on the season he has, he could break 100 sacks by the end of the year. He has three sacks right now, so ending the season with 15 sacks is doable. In 2018, he had 20.5, so 15 sacks is a possibility.
Matt Gay may have ended the game with a win, but not in his year-end evaluation. The kicker missed a kick and had two kickoffs travel out of bounds, giving the Seahawks starting field position at the 40-yard line twice. For a defense already on the ropes, those yards could not have been afforded. Gay will have to figure it out over the upcoming mini-bye because a mistake like that could cost the Rams the game against a more formidable opponent.
Raheem Morris won the game, but his defense took their biggest loss in more than a season. In primetime, they allowed Geno Smith to march up and down the field and failed to keep the 2-2 Seahawks at bay. With so many stars on the field, the Seahawks should not have been able to be as effective as they were. Last season, the Rams ran away with the best-ranked defense in the NFL. While retaining most of their stars and mainly only switching out the defensive coordinators, the Rams’ defense has fallen to 24th in the NFL. Unless the defense turns it around quickly, Raheem Morris could be looking for a new job next season.
Matthew Stafford looked invincible in the first few weeks of the NFL season. However, chinks are starting to appear in his armor. Stafford has simply not been the same quarterback over the last seven days as he has been in the previous three weeks. Stafford’s interception in the endzone could be in the running for one of the worst interceptions of the entire 2021 NFL season. Since beating the Buccaneers, Stafford has thrown three touchdowns and two interceptions over the last two games. Including the Buccaneers game, Stafford threw for nine touchdowns and one interception in his first three games.
Going into the season, the biggest question about Stafford was whether he could handle winning after losing for so long in Detriot. Well, the Rams are winning and Stafford is looking a bit uncomfortable. For Stafford to prove this idea wrong, he needs to get back to the same level he was playing at to start the season.
While Cooper Kupp didn’t have a bad night (7 catches for 92 yards), it presents some dark clouds for Kupp’s chances to finish the season as the number one receiver in the NFL. Every one of Woods’ 12 receptions and 150 yards came out of Kupp’s statline. Earlier in the season, Woods was having rough days and Kupp was soaking up the targets. Now, it seems that Kupp has some competition for targets. This will drive down his production over time and his statistics will suffer. Even with Woods’ resurgence, Kupp is still in for a nice 2021 season. However, his hopes of leading the league in receptions or receiving yards likely died on Thursday night.